Work

When one door closes…

Today, I closed a huge chapter of my life. I finished my first ‘real job’ as a communicator, and finished my career in Canberra.

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It was a reasonably emotional day for me. My resignation wasn’t met with the grace I had expected from everybody. And the rest, I’m going to miss them like crazy but I know I’ve made some friends for life.

I walked away with out any regret. I did the best job I could possibly do with the direction I was given, I learnt a hell of a lot, and I met some incredible people.

I walked away with my head held high, feeling really proud of how my time was spent there.

Work places are a funny thing. I spent so much time in my office, it was so familiar to me.

I’m both blessed and cursed in that it my office felt like my second home. I spent a lot of time there, my colleagues felt like my family. I knew the cracks in the walls, how to start the jibby lift, how to make the lights work in the bathroom- all those little quirks that you pick up over time.

Today, I closed a big chapter in my life. A chapter that will always be looked upon with such fond memories. A chapter that developed me as a communicator and as a person. A chapter, that although I am sad to end- I also know that it’s the right time for me.

Now, on to the next chapter…

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Parenting

It’s all a bit bittersweet.

We did it, we survived James’s 6 month deployment. He’ll be home on Friday.

Two weeks later, Oliver and I move to melbourne.

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Right now I’m feeling really powerful. I know that moving to melbourne is the best thing for us, and I am really looking forward to the next two weeks with my family.

But see, my husband is like a drug to me. The good kind, he’s a very positive influence. But boy oh boy, is he addictive. When I am away from him, well the first few weeks suck! But then I am okay.

When we are together, however, I live in constant fear of him leaving again. Every time he calls me from work I’m convinced he’s calling to tell me his been crash posted and he’s leaving for three months in two weeks (it’s happened before). Or worse, that he’s been posted back to Sydney.

I almost forget to enjoy the beautiful person that he is, and the wonderful relationship we share.

But this time is different, this time I’m in control. I’m calling the shots, I’m the one leaving.

It’s all very empowering and absolutely terrifying!

We also go through a big adjustment period when he gets back, we get a few weeks of joy and then we have to get used to living together again. That sounds really sterile but you’d be surprised how much people change over a few months- particularly when one lives in a large house alone and the other lives in small quarters with tens of other men.

This time, we just get the fun bit. The two weeks of hand holding, smooching, loving and enjoying.

I am really looking forward to it.

Of course I dread saying goodbye to my husband. I dread seeing him say goodbye to Oliver. But I know what I’m doing is for forever, not just until the navy posts us again.

I will control my own life, and I’ll no longer be controlled by a god damned posting order!

It’s all very liberating and empowering, but gosh I wish James was coming with us.

It’s really a very bittersweet time for this household.

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Work

I am proud of me.

This time, six years ago I was a very different person. I wasn’t a bad person, I was just nineteen and trying to figure out who I was, and who I was going to be.


I had just deferred uni, I was working at a pizza shop and I was spending every spare cent on partying. I look back with no regrets, but I also recognise that I have come a long way. And a big part of that is thanks to James.

We met on one of these nights out partying. I don’t recall our first meeting, one could say I had been drinking. But one thing led to another and our paths crossed.

He made me want to be a better person. He fills me with this motivation that I have never had before. I re-enrolled into uni, and he supported me every step of the way- financially and morally. But, it wasn’t always easy. I studied via distance education and he was away a lot. My mind wondered, I worked full time, then I had Ollie. I had to stay focused on my end game.

When I started my degree, I was going to be a journalist. There was no if-buts about it. I was going to change the world. I wanted to report on the real issues, I wanted to break through the censorship and I wanted to tell everyone the truth.

The more I learnt about journalism, communications and marketing, the more I learnt that this kind of journalism doesn’t really exist. Of course there are forums like this one here, blogs and underground outlets. But there’s also that underlying issue that people don’t always want to know the truth. They would much rather watch entertainment, call it news, and sleep soundly at night.

So I revisited my dream. I still wanted to change the world, but I realise now that there are smaller ways in which one can achieve this. I decided I wanted to be a communicator in a small not-for-profit organisation and share a very important message to those who needed to hear it.

For the past 12 months I have dabbled in that. I got to be part of a very important organisation and I got to share their message- sometimes.

Starting next month, I will be a communicator in a small not-for-profit organisation and I will get to share their very important message.

I will get to reflect on late nights studying after Oliver was up all day, and long drives to Canberra to sit my exam because James was out at sea. I will get to know that it was all worth it, and that I have worked hard to achieve my goals- and I have done it.

I will get to look Oliver in the eye and tell him if he wants something enough, and he works hard enough he can do it.

I will get to move to Melbourne, I will get to go home and I will get to raise Oliver in a constant environment.

James won’t be there right away, and that downright sucks. But I know that this is something we have worked hard for, and this is something we have achieved. Something we can be proud of. Something we did together- and something I couldn’t have done without James.

I am proud, I am so proud, of what I have achieved in the last six years. I have really set my goals high, and I have reached everyone of them. I am married to my soul mate, I have a beautiful son, a gorgeous puppy, and next month I am starting a job that I can very well see shaping my career.

I guess if I have one piece of advice for you, it’s don’t miss out on opportunities because you are too busy. Make time, not just for your goals but for yourself.

 

 

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52 Project

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This year, I am linking up with Practising Simplicity’s 52 project.

A portrait of my child, once a week, for every week in 2014.

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The blur: I know this picture is slightly out of focus, but  I think it perfectly highlights how this week has played out. It’s been wonderful, Oliver’s been so well behaved and excited for “Melman’, but the reality of being away from James has also hit us like a tone of bricks. He is very clingy, and every morning he cries as I leave for work– mind you he is never too keen to come home with me either. 

I know we will get through this next chapter of our lives together, the three of us. And I know that Oliver will be all the better for it.

Oliver you are my rock as I hope that I am yours. I love you more than you could ever know.

Love always,

Your Mama J.

 

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Parenting, Uncategorized

Why I stopped yelling…

Oliver is boisterous. He is full of energy and certainly suffers from selective hearing.

Tie that with nine months of ear infections, and you find yourself with two parents at their wits end trying to get their toddler to do ANYTHING!

But then I stopped yelling.

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When I say I tried everything, I mean it. Talking, asking, crying, laughing, yelling, screaming, smacking. I never wanted to smack my child, but I really didn’t know what else to do.

It resulted in the two of us sitting there, crying.

And that’s when I stopped yelling. It was part choice, and part me giving up and realising I had to start from complete scratch.

The first few days were horrible, absolutely terrible. He was so defiant, I remember him throwing a wooden toy at me to try get a reaction. It hurt like hell, and I sobbed quietly but I didn’t raise my voice.

And then I started giving him simple choices, “Mummy’s going to bed, are you coming or staying up?” “Staying up, okay goodnight!” Then he would come to bed.

Then I started to give him responsibilities, “Mummy’s going to bed, can you turn off the TV?”

No arguments, no complaints, just results.

I remember the first time I took him out in public and he didn’t spend every second trying to run from he. He held my hand when I asked, he slowed down when I asked, I listened to what he wanted to do, and it was perfect.

Even his daycare has told me of his improvement, and they are following my technique.

He thrives with responsibility and boundaries. If he doesn’t listen, I remove him from the situation. For example he is allowed to play on the drive way, but if he steps one foot on the road without holding my hand I simply pick him up and carry him inside. Then he gets one chance to say sorry and try again. The first few times I was smacked, and yelled at. But each time he understood it more and more, and now he doesn’t even try it. If for some reason he wants to go onto the road, he asks me to hold his hand and escort him.

I feel like I have a completely different child than I had six months ago. Of course he has aged, and of course his communication skills have improved. But he still struggles to communicate and I still struggle to understand exactly what he wants.

But now, we don’t yell. We talk, we try, and we figure it out.

My parenting skills have improved 100% since quitting yelling, and I’m not only much happier- Oliver is too.

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Uncategorized

Moving home.

I can’t believe I am finally writing this post, but I am. I  am finally sharing with you all that I am moving home.

It’s terrible timing, James is moving back to Canberra two weeks before we move to Melbourne. But it’s also the best timing, why?

Because the time is now.

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At the start of the year, as many of you know, my white picket Canberra life was shattered when James was posted down to Melbourne for six months. We finally got a land posting after two terrible years in Sydney, and after being here for 12 months that stability was taken from us again. It was then I truly realised something that deep down I always knew, stability and the ADF will never co-exist. Whilst James is in the Navy, we will never have a stable life style. We will never truly have a home.

I found myself living in a constant state of fear. Instead of looking forward to James getting back, I was counting down the days until his posting in Canberra was over and our life could be shaken up again. He was granted a 12 month posting back to Canberra, instead of being relieved I worked out how close Oliver would be to school before this posting was up, and found myself losing sleep over where he would go to school, if I would find work, and if James would even be around.

I was losing my ability to enjoy the little things.

Since James moved to Melbourne I had started applying for ‘dream jobs’. I applied for three jobs in total. About three weeks ago I got a call from one of these jobs. After a trip down to Melbourne, an interview on four hours sleep, and a few reference checks I secured myself a one of these dream jobs in Melbourne.

I start two weeks after James gets back, which downright sucks. But we are trying not to let it get us down. I feel like this could be my forever job, and Melbourne has always been our forever town. James is my forever partner, so even though we may not be able to be together now I know that this is where I am supposed to be. And I know as soon as he can move to Melbourne, he will. And I know that once he does get there, I will never ever let him go again- and neither will Oliver.

Today, I filled out Oliver’s new daycare enrolment form and I was filling out the emergency contacts section. At his current day care, he has me. That’s it. At his new daycare in Melbourne the sheet was full and I could have added more. Filling out that form almost bought a tear to my eye.

And that’s why I am moving home. I have done this Navy wife thing for 5 years. I love my husband more than words can ever explain, but it’s time for me to take control.

I’m jumping into Melbourne, and whilst a huge part of me is terrified and apprehensive, the rest of me is ready to fall into my huge network of support  waiting for me in Melbourne.

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52 Project

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This year, I am linking up with Practising Simplicity’s 52 project.

A portrait of my child, once a week, for every week in 2014.

What a fortnight it’s been! I will tell you all about it very soon, but for now enjoy these beautiful snippets of Oliver.

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Grandpa came to visit. You call him O-ma. You love him so much, you woke up at 3AM to play with him and wouldn’t let him out of your sight. You are very much your grandfathers grandson, the way you act, talk, and stand. I can’t wait to see your relationship to grow with him over the years.

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We went back to Melbourne with Grandpa, and guess what- your Mummy got a job down there. We are moving down in a month. This picture summarises our week perfectly, it was mayhem, perfect wonderful mayhem with a great response. We got to see Daddy, and he came back to Canberra with us for the weekend. It kills me how deep your love flows for your family.

I’m so excited to start our next adventure together, with you by my side I know anything is possible.

I love you more than anything my beautiful little sir.

Love always,

you Mama x

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